Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
user1000

Sherman tank .50cal ring

Recommended Posts

I have never seen my sherman fire it's .50cal to the side or back in the game(always some off degree to the front). I recently saw a video of a sherman tank hatch that had a rotating .50cal ring on it. The rotation was smooth as glass. Can they rotate the .50cal 360 degrees in real life? Does this reflect in game? Is this ring also on other vehicles and shermans with .50cal? half tracks, priests, m8 scott? OR did they come out later in war?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to my great Uncle, A  T-3 mechanic who saw action in the Battle of the Bulge supporting a unit under Patton's 3rd Army, ring mounted .50 cals were used on other vehicles, his 2 1/2 ton truck for example. I asked him about his primary weapon in the war when I visited him 2 years ago. Expecting to talk about the M-1 garand, he said, "my main weapon was a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a ring in my truck" .  He got to use it too. It seems the Luftwaffe did not like their trucks hauling ammo and spare parts to the line. I got to hear his recollections of being attacked by Me-109's and FW-190's carrying bombs. He was awarded a Bronze star. I read the citation, it was mainly for his outstanding work keeping all the vehicles going. He was my grandmothers brother, during the time we grew up me and my cousin wanted to ask him questions about the war but she said not too because he had nightmares, He saw buddies get killed and horrible things. But 2 years ago one of his daughters told us we could visit, he was ready to talk about it all. He mentioned bodies piled up like firewood when they finally got into Bastogne. He mentioned how one of his buddies saved his life but lost his own. We had heard over the years how he was asleep in his truck and some Germans woke him up wanting to surrender. We asked him about that too. He said "Well yeah but I wasn't in a truck I was on the ground asleep! There was about 10 of em. We didn't have anywhere to put them so we just gave em a pat on the behind and pointed them to head toward the rear" Sorry for the digression just thought I would share.

Edited by J Bennett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @J Bennett

i missed the opportunity to speak with my uncle on his experience, something I will always regret. Glad to hear you were able to get that time with yours. I expect he probably appreciated the opportunity to share as much as you did  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The attitude to the .50cal was quite varied among Sherman crews, I recall an anecdotal account of a British tank commander describing it thus "Great big thing, got in the way all the time. Traded it with some Yanks for rations and cigarettes."  ;)

Unusually I find myself in agreement with sburke, those of us lucky enough to have spoken at length  with WWII (WWI in some instances) veterans are extremely fortunate, they are an ever diminishing group and we must ensure their quiet wisdom is not lost to the generations that follow us.

Never again.  default_poppy.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not many Sherman variants had a rotating .50cal ring on them. Would the early version Shermans with a rotating .50cal ring even be involved at the Normandy stages of the war?

Early Italy maybe. Information about what exact variants  the .50cal ring was fitted to is hard to find which is strange.

Edited by niall78

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very useful guide to Sherman turrets here:

75mm Turrets

76mm Turrets

I believe this is probably the most common 3600 mount for the .50cal:

early_low_bustle.JPG

75mm Low-Bustle Turret D50878

This turret appeared very early in production and the cupola was reused on many (most) other types IIRC (off hand without trawling through Hunnicutt). 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the links guys, who wouldn't want a ring mount on their tank/vehicle you can engage different targets at once even if they are behind you, and if you didn't have one the whole turret would have to turn in order for you to get a bead on the target. I read most were designed so the crew could fire low inside hatch as defense when plane flew directly over the top of them in a strafe run, maybe the 360 was later put on when they realized it could be used for ground. It's too risky for me to use on troops and hard to hit htem. I just let them spot and engage with rotating scopes and use the hull and turret mgs.

Edited by user1000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a hunch that a turret ring for a tank would in most cases have been something of a field expedient at the request of the TC or his superior. I base this on the extreme rarity of it in hundreds of photos of Shermans I have perused only to have it turn up less than a handful of times. On the other hand, it was standard equipment on some models of HTs and trucks, as Wicky's photos suggest. BTW, the vast majority of pics I have seen of the AAMG being used against ground targets show the operator either kneeling on the back deck of the tank or operating it from inside the TC's hatch.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ michael thanks for the reply. I have also seen pictures of these instances in books, that you mention.  So with the pintle mount (still do 360 can't it?) they would just have to move with their bodies 360 degrees around the outside of the tank if it didn't have the ring? Talk about exposing yourself to enemy fire! I notice later on they put 30s in front, and still kept 50 in back for  for the anti aircraft role, which they probably kept until the end of the war.

At 3:18 of this video you can see it move, but it is not a ring setup like in those pictures.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

I have a hunch that a turret ring for a tank would in most cases have been something of a field expedient at the request of the TC or his superior. I base this on the extreme rarity of it in hundreds of photos of Shermans I have perused only to have it turn up less than a handful of times. On the other hand, it was standard equipment on some models of HTs and trucks, as Wicky's photos suggest. BTW, the vast majority of pics I have seen of the AAMG being used against ground targets show the operator either kneeling on the back deck of the tank or operating it from inside the TC's hatch.

Michael

What an earth are you on about?  :o

There is a rotating 3600 mount on almost all Sherman turrets.....Pictures of the bloody thing are only two posts above your comment!  :rolleyes:

Look at the commanders hatch, it is surrounded by a cupola with a mounting point for the .50cal (it's to the left of the hatch in the image above).....That whole cupola rotates, note the position of the .50cal mount here:

low_liftingrings.JPG

Or here:

pistol_port_closed.JPG

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

What an earth are you on about?  :o

There is a rotating 3600 mount on almost all Sherman turrets.....Pictures of the bloody thing are only two posts above your comment!  :rolleyes:

Admittedly I scanned those photos rather quickly, but I didn't spot a ring mount on any. Lots of pintle mounts, if that is what you mean. But no ring mounts.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for the first post it was misleading, I mentioned  ring but it's wasn't like the ring wicky posted,  what I meant was the cupola ring (what it's called I don't know) around the cupola just as squarehead mentions and that's the pic I was asking about. Was this cupola ring standard on shermans?

Edited by user1000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you look at the two links above you will see exactly (more or less, with Shermans there are always exceptions) which turrets had this cupola and which did not, you will also see the various alternative arrangements found on other turrets.  There is enough info there to give you a pretty good grounding in the history of the Sherman (it's an excellent site, expore it).  B)

http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_minutia/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the issues with any external MG was the tendency for them to get hung up and bent our of shape when the vehicle went through heavy brush. This was an issue with any device or fixture that stuck out from the tank-such as the ATW plates on German tanks. Sooner or later they just got ripped off. I think this is one of the main reasons that the British passed up on the external MG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On March 23, 2017 at 1:26 PM, crsutt said:

I think this is one of the main reasons that the British passed up on the external MG.

If we are still talking about WW II, the Lend-Lease tanks in UK/British service usually seem to have retained their external MGs. Maybe not their home grown tanks such as the Cromwell though.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe AA MGs were issued for Shermans, but they are much less prevalent than in US units as can be seen from contemporary pictures.....I'd guess many of them went the way of the one in the anecdote I described. 

British made tanks tended not to have an AA gun, although a number of mounts for single & twin Bren/Vickers K guns were available, some of these were very odd looking contraptions.....Here's a really early example:

S_MkVIb1.jpg

Here's the slightly later Lakeman Mount:

BrenGunOnLakeman_02.jpg

There's an interesting page on the Lakeman Mount here:  http://www.o5m6.de/bren_gun_lakeman.html

 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now here's an interesting picture:

WW2+commander+of+8th+Princess+Louise-s_N

"WW2  Canadian commander 8th Princess Louise's New Brunswick Hussars-Sherman tank- giving orders to his gunner during  firing exercise Italy  March 2nd 1944"

http://historyofwarinpictures.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/soldiers-faces-of-war.html

Are those MGs on the Sherman, or is there another vehicle parked close behind.....Sadly the perspective suggests the latter to me.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...